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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

07-26-05

Contacts:

Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917

Fusion just 188.2 miles from completing 2,500-mile solar car race

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's solar car raced another 330 miles across western Canada on Monday and solidified its hold on third place in the North American Solar Challenge's stock class.

The world's longest solar car race from Austin, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, will resume on Wednesday when the long and low solar cars make the final sprint to the finish line at the University of Calgary.

Monday's racing wasn't ideal for Iowa State's Fusion, said Ryan Pfeiffer, a team member from Council Bluffs who's studying mechanical engineering. There were some clouds most of the day. There was a problem with a module in the battery pack. And the battery protection system had to be fixed.

Even so, Pfeiffer said Monday's 40 mph run was a little monotonous from his place in the chase vehicle.

"The car is boring," he said. "Being reliable is more boring for the team."

But it's good for the racing.

Fusion was third in the race's stock class at the Medicine Hat, Alberta, checkpoint. It's about three hours behind cars from the University of California Berkeley and Stanford University.

Fusion is in 11th place overall, also trailing eight cars competing in the more powerful open class. The University of Michigan is leading the University of Minnesota by 11 minutes for the overall lead.

Tuesday's rest day in Medicine Hat won't be too busy for Team PrISUm, Pfeiffer said. Team members will recharge Fusion's batteries. They'll change its tires. They'll polish its black shell and the purple and blue racing flames that decorate its aerodynamic wheel covers. And they'll catch up on some sleep.

And maybe they'll think a little about what they've accomplished: Nearly 2,500 miles of racing powered only by the sun.

"It's an honor to race with all these other great teams," Pfeiffer said. "We feel pretty accomplished."

The North American Solar Challenge started July 17 with 20 university teams competing for pride and a big traveling trophy. Twelve of those teams were able to make the Medicine Hat checkpoint on Monday.

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Fusion solar car

For a print-quality photo contact News Service at 294-3720
Iowa State University's Ryan Ellis and a Team PrISUm teammate prepare to leave the University of Regina checkpoint in Saskatchewan on Monday. Photo by Stefano Paltera/North American Solar Challenge.

Quote

"It's an honor to race with all these other great teams. We feel pretty accomplished."

Ryan Pfeiffer

Quick look

Brian Scrimager, a communications specialist with Iowa State's College of Engineering, is joining Team PrISUm on the road. Read his eblog.

Team PrISUm

Colin Burnett, Nevada

Justin Clegg, Clinton

Akshay Dave, Ahmedabad Gujarat, India

Ryan Ellis, Brooklyn

Ryan Emerson, Creston

Hilda Garma, Wheaton, Ill.

Chris Hassebroek, Council Bluffs

Amanda Helgeson, Rochester, Minn.

Sarah Kelly, Rochester, Minn.

Joe Krueger, Lawler

Jared Leonard, Rapid City, S.D.

Kyle Miller, Rockford

Kate Muhlbauer, Manning

Tom Noonan, Berthoud, Colo.

Ryan Pfeiffer, Council Bluffs

Paul Phillips, Davenport

Justin Steinlage, St. Lucas

Updates